In an attempt to weed out illegal migrants, Assam is updating the NRC or the National Register of Citizens. It’s a list of all Indian citizens first published in 1951. To make it to the list, your name or the names of your ancestors must appear in any electoral roll published upto 24th March 1971.
24 year old Rahman is a live in help in Mumbai. He wonders if he’ll make it to Assam’s final National Register of Citizens (NRC) that comes out on 31st July . One that could make Rahman a citizen of India or could declare him stateless. The irony Rahman says is that, he and his forefathers are all Assamese.
When applications for NRC opened in 2015, Rahman Uddin was among the 33 million people who applied. When the draft list came out on July 30 last year, over 40 lakh persons were excluded and given a chance to appeal in the ‘claims and objections’ round. Then in July this year, over 1 lakh of those previously included in the draft list were dropped.
“What I don’t understand is the work for NRC started in 2015. The names of 41 lakh people have been cancelled. It’s been approximately 5 years since 2015 and the problems of 41 lakh people have not been solved yet.Now they tell us that the final result will be out in the next 1 month. What will they do in just a month? Will they give an identity to all of us? Or will they cancel all our identities? That is what I am not able to understand” says Rahman.
Rahman also claims his brother, his only living relative has made it to the final list. So he should too. But the wait is agonising. Especially since he says he has submitted his documents twice.
Watch Rahman narrate his story in this video on Assam’s NRC.